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The Public Theater Will Begin Previews for MEASURE FOR MEASURE Monday, November 18

The Public Theater Will Begin Previews for MEASURE FOR MEASURE Monday, November 18

The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) will begin previews for the MOBILE UNIT's production of Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE on Monday, November 18. Directed by La Williams, the free sit-down run of MEASURE FOR MEASURE follows a three-week tour to the five boroughs that brought Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts. MEASURE FOR MEASURE will run through Sunday, December 8 with an official press opening on Friday, November 22.

Furthering the mission of making great theater accessible to all, tickets to the MOBILE UNIT's run at The Public are FREE and are available via TodayTix mobile lottery and in-person distribution downtown at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place. On each public performance date, free tickets will be distributed in-person beginning 90 minutes prior to curtain, and via mobile lottery on the TodayTix app. Download the TodayTix app to enter or visit for more information.

The all-black women cast of MEASURE FOR MEASURE features Jasmine Batchelor (Isabella), Nora Carroll (Escalus/Juliet), Toccarra Cash (Lucio), Alfie Fuller (Pompey), Adrian Kiser (Angelo), Gabrielle Murphy (Provost), Jacqueline Nwabueze (Understudy), LaTonia Phipps (Mariana/Overdone), and Grace Porter (Duke). Lily Santiago joins the company as Claudio/Elbow beginning Tuesday, November 19, stepping in for Phumzile Sitole who is departing the production due to a scheduling conflict.

This season, The Public's acclaimed Mobile Unit transports communities of the five boroughs to the vibrant streets of New Orleans for a bold new production of Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE directed by La Williams. It's 1979, Mardi Gras has been officially cancelled, yet the community is still celebrating. Temporarily left in charge by the Duke, the upright and uptight Lord Angelo has decided to crack down on the city's debauchery, arresting young Claudio for impregnating his fiancée Juliet before their wedding. When virtuous Isabella, Claudio's sister, hears of his death sentence, she begs Lord Angelo for mercy. But hypocritical Angelo propositions her instead, leaving Isabella with an impossible choice: save her soul or her brother's life. In this timely production, lovers and leaders in disguise reveal how those in power take advantage of those without it - asking the question, can the law be both just and merciful?

MEASURE FOR MEASURE features scenic design by Yu-Hsuan Chen, costume design by Asa Benally, music composition by Jeffery Miller, choreography by Mayte Natalio, and fight and intimacy direction by Michael Rossmy and Kelsey Rainwater.

In 2019, the MOBILE UNIT celebrates the 62nd anniversary of its inaugural mobile tour in 1957 which began with a production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Joseph Papp with Bryarly Lee and Stephen Joyce in the titular roles. The 1957 Mobile Unit tour received early support from New York City authorities. Stanley Lowell, then deputy mayor, was an early champion for free theater and mobilized city resources and departments to support Papp's production. The first Mobile Unit rolled up to performance venues across the city in borrowed Department of Sanitation vehicles with a wooden folding stage mounted to a truck bed and portable seating risers to accommodate 700 people per venue. The city's Parks Department permitted performances in local parks across all five boroughs. Subsequent productions included A Midsummer Night's Dream (1964), Henry V (1965), The Taming of the Shrew (1965), Macbeth (1966), Volpone (1967), Take One Step (1968), Ti-Jean and His Brothers (1972), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1973), and Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage (1977), among many others.

This modern reimagining of The Public Theater's original Mobile Theater is inspired by Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis, MN. In the fall of 2018, the MOBILE UNIT toured nationally with a Mobile Unit National Tour of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat to communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The tour extended beyond performances by actively interacting with audiences in community engagement activities on the issues and conversations most alive in their communities.


"I have been coming to these plays for the three years that I was in MDC.

My release is Thursday and I would like to continue to watch the Mobile Unit plays."
- Metropolitan Detention Center Audience Member

"There are no better productions of Shakespeare in NYC.

You make me think theater can actually change the world."

- New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Audience Member

"Thank you for your mission, for these Mobile Unit performances,

and for finding the actors you do, who so often do not look like other actors do, but rather like us."
- Pelham Fritz Recreation Center Audience Member

La Williams (Director) is a New York-based director. He is currently an inaugural Old Globe Classical Directing Fellow. His recent credits include Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morriseau (Westport Country Playhouse); Rated Black: An American Requiem by Kareem M. Lucas (Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop); Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks (The Juilliard School); Richard in 9 Poses by Sarah DeLappe (Clubbed Thumb). He has developed and directed new work at The Public Theater, The New Group, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, La MaMa, and The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Williams has an MA from Emerson College and BA from Alabama State University.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE will run at The Public Theater from Monday, November 18 through Sunday, December 8 in the Shiva Theater, with an official press opening on Friday, November 22.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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